If you thought Twinkies had a shelf life over 200 years—think again.
Hostess Brands, the iconic bakers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread has announced on November 16, 2012 that it has asked a US bankruptcy court to close its business for good, saying it can not afford to continue in business after a bakers strike tried to force a new contract on them.
The closing of Hostess will result in the shuttering of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and some 18,500 people being put out of work which includes about 5,000 union members.
Citing an on-going dispute with the striking bakers, Hostess says it had provided a 5PM November 15, 2012 deadline asking the bakers to return to work, noting that if they did not, the company would close down.
While the union workers called Hostess’ bluff, they soon realized it was not a bluff.
In a statement, Hostess chief executive officer Gregory Rayburn says: “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.”
This past September, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted to accept a new contract with reduced wages and benefits, but the bakers’ union rejected the deal.
Hostess then asked for permission from a bankruptcy court to force a new five-year contract on workers, which would cut all company salaries by eight per cent in the first year, but then bump salaries up by three per cent in the next three years and a one per cent increase in year five.
The bakers union people did not accept that and went on strike.
Hostess says it will attempt o sell its assets to the highest bidder—so there is hope for the future of Wonder Bread and Twinkies et al.